Open the Gates and Walk Together. The End of Loneliness

Open the Gates

Solitude

is the desert sun to dry up the flood

a breath

a moment

peace that restores

Loneliness

is the solitary walk along a never ending gate

always outside the gate

with no secret code to open the doors

and on the side of paradise

people walk by

beside

behind

ahead

but always out of reach

And loneliness subtly begs

for scraps of company and conversation

for anything

while people smile and nod

and just keep walking

by Christina Lynn Lambert

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During the extreme quarantine of the recent virus pandemic, many people who have never felt alone found themselves stuck inside, away from those they loved, away from everyone in general. Video conferencing replaced human contact. Huggers had no one to hug. After a few days or weeks, the peaceful solitude devolved into pure and painful loneliness. For a while, many experienced a small fraction of the loneliness some people experience on a regular basis.

Painful shyness or difficulty with social cues creates a barrier for many people. They feel stuck and set apart from the world. People who experience this soul crushing loneliness and difficulty connecting with others didn’t flinch at the isolation of quarantine. Their wounds didn’t get deeper. Not those wounds anyway.

But maybe, when the world opens back up again safely, more people will take the time to spot those locked outside the gate and throw open the doors so everyone can walk together.

New Release – steamy, paranormal romance Tiger’s Last Chance by Christina Lynn Lambert

Book 3 in the Stranger Creatures series is finally here! Each book features a different couple searching for their happily-ever-after. In the strange town of Great Oaks, Virginia, the road to love is full of surprises.

Tiger’s Last Chance features Sean and Nikki’s story.

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While working a case, Sean Whitman is tortured for information, drugged, and bitten against his will by a shape shifter. The fallout leaves him jobless, friendless, and dumped by his girlfriend. Needing a fresh start, he leaves town and opens a private investigation business. Learning to live life sober isn’t easy, but he makes it to the two year mark.

When Detective Nikki Jackson with the Great Oaks, Virginia Police Department calls him, accusing him of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house, Sean can’t help but like the sound of her voice, despite her ridiculous accusations. He’s shocked when she calls him back with an apology then asks for his help as a consultant on a case. On the phone, her sweet, slightly Southern voice captivates him. In person, she’s unlike any other woman he’s encountered, and nearly impossible to resist. But could the sexy detective ever want a man like him?

After Nikki’s last dating disaster, the mountain lion shifter has sworn off men. Then she meets Sean, and with every second she spends around the tall, dark-eyed man, her resolve crumbles. But for some reason, despite the undeniable attraction between them, Sean seems determined to push her away.

An investigation into missing refugees leaves Nikki with more questions than answers. Her refusal to let the matter drop leads her to the discovery of a radical political group’s horrifying plot for dominance. Traitors are embedded within the very organizations meant to keep shifters safe. As the list of people she can trust dwindles, Nikki calls on Sean to help her unravel a web of deceit.

As Nikki and Sean fight for survival, his fear of losing her could become a reality. Will he get one last chance to show her he loves her?

Here’s a little taste of the story:

For the briefest moment, Nikki felt the depth to which Sean might be capable of pushing her. His kiss was crushing and brutal. His tongue pushed past her lips and his grip in her hair tightened. If desire were a vine, it would have wrapped itself around her veins and encased her heart. The heat between them flooded her. There was a sweetness, too, in his kiss, and the sweetness made her burn hotter.

A polite cough from inside the waiting car put a quick end to things. Sean pulled away and met her gaze. No words, but she got the message. She wasn’t alone. Comfort and friendship; he’d probably meant the kiss to comfort her and had gotten carried away in the heat of the moment. He’d carried her away with him, and she wanted to take him so much further into the unknown.

With each second, each step towards the waiting car, she tried to find reasons and more reasons to ignore her growing attraction to Sean. The number one reason to forget about the kiss they’d shared—relationships were trouble. She had plenty of other amazing things in her life, including her career, her volunteer work, and her band, even though the band rarely played anywhere because the members had trouble aligning their schedules. She didn’t need a man. Besides, he was probably still messed up over Sydney. Also, he was a regular. Or mostly regular. Not to mention he lived over a thousand miles away in Texas. She should tell him the kiss was a mistake. One look at him and she couldn’t bring herself to say the words. The kiss they shared had been anything but a mistake.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/b088p6mydb

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/b088p6mydb

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tigers-last-chance-christina-lynn-lambert/1137033221

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/tigers-last-chance/id1513644203

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tiger-s-last-chance

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1022227

Don’t miss books 1 and 2 of my Stranger Creatures series! Each story features imperfect but determined characters who find the courage to love and the strength to survive in a world where there are no guarantees.

Wolf’s Challenge is the first story in the series and features Derrick and Sydney’s story. When temptingly handsome, powerful shape shifter Derrick dares shy, single mom Sydney to take a chance with him, will she rise to the challenge or will she run for safety, leaving him in the dust?

Excerpt:

Sydney sat in the conference room at Brass Cat Advertising, sipping her coffee and wishing the caramel latte could take her to an alternate reality. One where Derrick Porter wasn’t sitting in front of her. His presence had caught her off guard. She took another sip of her coffee and tried not to stare stupidly, but holy chocolate-covered cherries, the man was hot.

Dark hair and eyebrows made a striking contrast against his strong bone structure and fair skin. His lips, good grief. They looked so soft. His long, lean body fit nicely in a suit. The material stretched over his broad shoulders and came in at the waist. He probably had amazing six-pack abs.

When they’d met Saturday in running group, it hadn’t merely been the fog coupled with Sydney’s exhaustion and two-year streak of celibacy that made Derrick appear so handsome. Even under the bright lights of the conference room, he was gorgeous. What rotten luck that she couldn’t seem to get away from him.

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Challenge-Christina-Lynn-Lambert-ebook/dp/B07JCSLVBJ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wolfs-Challenge-Stranger-Creatures-Book-ebook/dp/B07JCSLVBJ

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolfs-challenge-christina-lambert/1124676509?ean=2940161888049

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wolf-s-challenge-1

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wolfs-challenge/id1441052967

 

Bear’s Edge (Stranger Creatures book 2)

A boss can’t date her employee—simple as that. No matter how much Shayla wants to unravel a few of Grant’s mysteries and take her friendship with the shy, sarcastic man to the next level, she’s determined to keep her fantasies of him to herself.

After bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he did his best to shut himself off from everyone around him. Falling for Shayla wasn’t part of his plan, but after a kiss that leaves them both speechless and hungry for more, Grant can’t keep his desire for his boss under wraps any longer.

When things between the two of them get hotter than he could have imagined, Grant wonders if some of his darker desires will be too much for Shayla or will she embrace the needs he’s kept hidden for so long?

An obnoxious reporter and Shayla’s bitter ex have teamed up to chase down conspiracy theories that could destroy Shayla’s business and worse, put her life in danger. To find their happily ever after, Shayla and Grant will have to trust in each other and find a way to crush all the obstacles standing in their way.

Excerpt:

Grant the mystery man—a delicious mystery Shayla would like to unravel, piece by piece, layer by layer. Ah, but I can’t. I’m his boss. In a different lifetime, if we didn’t have the whole boss-employee obstacle going on…. No harm in looking, though, just a little, since he sat so close. She promised herself to keep her thoughts G-rated—okay, maybe PG-13. Grant had a talent with numbers and paid attention to detail. Also, he was a little shy and standoffish to a lot of people when it came to anything other than work. Shayla wondered where he sometimes went in his head, because, every now and then, his smile slipped from his face, just for a second, before being replaced with one a little harder. None of my business, she reminded herself.

She had really wanted to hug him this morning after seeing him so frustrated but decided it might be wiser and more appropriate to show him there were a few people on his side. Seeing him break things and try to be all strong and humorous about it made Shayla want to unravel the Grant mystery even more. It kind of hurt to watch him pretending to be fine, but all she could offer him was lunch and good conversation. Hopefully, Mr. Strong and Silent—Sydney called him that sometimes, although never to his face—knew Shayla and Sydney cared. And Shayla did care. Because he’s a friend. Just a friend.

Grant raised his soda in a toast. “To things not being worse,” he announced with a rueful half smile. “And, uh”—he cleared his throat—“to good company.” He nodded at Sydney, and when he met Shayla’s gaze, he held it. In his dark eyes, she saw hunger, wide-open desire, and about a million other things she couldn’t puzzle out. Grant looked at her that way sometimes, and she did her best to ignore it. He might have a small crush on her, or he could have a thing for petite, small-breasted girls possessing a great fashion sense.

Sydney broke the silence. “To good food and even better friends.” She clinked Grant’s glass, and Shayla came back to reality and smiled, pretending she wasn’t experiencing several different kinds of inappropriate thoughts and feelings for a sexy, complicated man who was her employee and also her friend. She needed to behave and remember things could never go any further than a panty-melting gaze.

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/bears-edge-stranger-creatures-book-ebook/dp/b07kb78g9k

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bears-Edge-Stranger-Creatures-Book-ebook/dp/B07KB78G9K

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bears-edge-christina-lynn-lambert/1127154505?ean=2940161778401

iBooks:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bears-edge/id1441668063

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bear-s-edge-1

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/905705

A little about me:

A few years ago, I read my first romance novel and I was hooked, so much so that I decided to give the idea of writing a story a chance. Love, courage, hope, and second chances are a few of my favorite themes. My stories include a fair amount of sarcasm, suspense, steam, and violence. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time outside and finding ways to avoid cooking. I live in beautiful Virginia with my husband, two daughters, and a sweet, hairy monster of a dog.

If you want to see what I’m up to you can follow me on social media at:

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lynn-Lambert/e/B01MCYK0K7

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/christina-lynn-lambert

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinalynnlambert

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15900423.Christina_Lynn_Lambert

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinalynnlambert

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chris4lamb

WordPress: https://christinalynnlambertwordpress.com

Dare to Hope- a new contemporary romance by Madison Michael

Looking for an exciting new contemporary romance to read? Dare to Hope by Madison Michael is the first book in the steamy, Double Dare Romance Series. Now available for preorder!

Pre order DTH Banner

 

♥♥GiveAway♥♥

Maddy is offering a few lucky readers the chance to win an ebook of Dare to Hope from ibooks or another ebook format. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter! You may enter each day for a chance to win so be sure to follow along on her Pre-Order Tour.

♥♥Pre-Order Details ♥♥

Dare to Hope is now available for Pre-Order on B&N, Apple Books or Kobo. After it’s release it will only be available on Amazon, so Hurry! Go Pre-Order your copy if you prefer these formats for reading.

About Dare to Hope:

Dare To Hope

She’s Betting on Love and the Stakes are High

The “Crazy Eights,” eight women who have been friends for 30 years, have a powerful connection yet rarely see each other. At a pivotal time in their lives, they create a way to remedy this predicament, an audacious dare contrived to bring them together for weddings – each participant must get married within twelve months. The stakes are high. Win the bet and lose your heart; or lose the bet and perform a personally mortifying task.

In the first of their stories, we meet Eliana, beautiful and brilliant, but starting over, focused on her career, not on some foolhardy dare. Longing for a family but recently divorced and on her own, Eliana sets her sights on a new job, a new home and accepting her single, childless status. Independent and determined, she has no idea that in less than six months she will both win and lose her heart’s desire.

Jeremy Klein, genius engineer and inventor, is also making life changes. He’s sold his startup to a major medical device company, becoming President and CEO, and a billionaire before he is forty. Although he’s gun-shy about the dating game, Jeremy knows it’s time to apply his smarts, sex appeal and new-found success to finding true love.

When Eliana meets Jeremy, they bond quickly. The couple has so much in common and a chemistry that sizzles. Winning Eliana feels like a fantasy come true to Jeremy. Their attraction is immediate and electrifying, and a one-night stand morphs into planning a future. But plans change. On track to wedded bliss, baby and all, Jeremy and Eliana are derailed by accusations that threaten their relationship, Eliana’s career and Jeremy’s future as CEO.

Spies, lies, allegations and misunderstandings abound, threatening to destroy their happiness. That is, until those “Crazy Eights” get involved, scheming and manipulating to win Eliana her happily ever after. Can a group of determined friends help Eliana and Jeremy hold onto love?

In the tradition of The Beguiling Bachelor Series, Madison Michael creates a romance series about independent and sassy women, sexy and successful men, true love, and lasting friendships.

Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance

Buy Links:

~♥~♥~♥~♥~

An Excerpt from Dare to Hope:

His grin was devastating up close – wide and welcoming, with a hint of naughtiness and the promise of shared pleasures. But it was his eyes, deep coffee brown and fringed with long dark lashes that were his best feature; piercing, intelligent and inquisitive eyes, trained on her.

Please, God, Eliana prayed quickly, do not let this man be the new sales manager. It would be lamentable if she had to keep him at arm’s length. He was the first man Eliana had felt drawn to since Nico. If she was honest with herself, he was the first man she had ever felt this attracted to so immediately. It was enough to make her believe in love at first sight or fate.

“Hi,” he stepped closer, ignoring the empty stool beside her to halt just inside her personal space. Usually, Eliana would have reflexively backed up, but she savored his closeness, the power emanating from his presence. Even in this stuffy bar, he smelled good – fresh, like soap and good whiskey. And up close, his eyes were more magical – a hint of gold dancing in their depths.

“Hi,” she responded on a breath, letting the single word hang there for a moment before adding “You aren’t in sales, are you?”

“Nope.” If he thought it was a strange conversation starter, he kept it to himself. “Engineering and design, although I have dabbled in sales. I could be in sales for you,” he offered in a voice smooth as brandy, redolent with sexual promise and a hint of curiosity. She laughed at his offer. “Are you in sales?”

“Yes, I am. I was thinking of what a crime it would be if you turned out to be my new boss. I’m meeting him tomorrow.”

“Jeremy,” he responded, extending his hand to shake hers. “Not in sales. Is your boss named Jeremy?”

“Thankfully, not.” Eliana extended her hand, savoring the moment as Jeremy wrapped his long fingers around hers. She noticed there was no wedding band as she admired the strength and length of his fingers, the fine hairs on the back of his hand, and his grip – warm and dry. His skin was soft over fine bone and healthy muscle. Everything about him captivated her. “Eliana.”

Jeremy seemed in no hurry to release her hand, but after several beats too long for politeness, Eliana pulled hers from his. “Is this seat taken?” he asked, already sitting down, not thinking twice about it. “Or perhaps that table against the wall? I am anxious to learn why you don’t know who you work with, Eliana.”

Eliana laughed and watched as Jeremy’s breath stopped. His every emotion was transparent, especially the desire flaming in his eyes right now. A passion she reciprocated. Wholeheartedly. She couldn’t remember such an instantaneous attraction. But with Jeremy, she felt electricity and lust move through her entire body, just from the touch of his hand and the sound of her name spoken in his rich baritone.

“Eliana,” he rolled the word around his mouth as if tasting a fine wine. “What a lovely name.” Eliana panties dampened. He was just saying words, but their underlying promise was undeniable. She wanted to be alone with him. She wanted to be naked with him. And all she knew was his first name.

Eliana nodded toward the table, questioning her sanity. She was sure about what this man wanted, but after only minutes, her body governed her head. Jeremy spoke briefly with the bartender, passed him a fifty like it was a single, and motioned for her to lead the way to the empty table. Before they had settled in their chairs, both had fresh drinks. Earlier, the bartender had responded to her beauty with decent service and half-hearted flirting, but he reacted with alacrity to the big tip.

“So, spill,” Jeremy directed, leaning forward on his elbows and putting his mouth dangerously close to hers. Just a few inches, Eliana imagined, and they could be kissing. “I am dying to hear your story. I want to know absolutely everything about you.” The way he lingered on the word ‘everything’ made Eliana wetter still. Oh man, she was in way over her head.

~♥~♥~♥~♥~

Meet Madison Michael:

Madison Michael loves to binge news, movies, books, Oreos and romance – reading romance novels, writing romantic stories, watching Rom-Coms over and over. Maddy has spent her self-isolation fretting about the health of her friends and neighbors and catching up on TV programs from ten years ago. Hunkered down with her cat, Gracie, and a Zoom life-line to the world, she is wondering how people date and social distance, how much junk food she can consume in a day and why Gracie only wants to play when Maddy needs to work.

Oh, and Madison is also hard at work on the rest of the Double Dare Romance series. Watch for more of the series in Autumn and Winter, 2020.

Madison’s Social Links:

 

All Caught up on Madison’s Books?

The Beguiling Bachelor Series –

Four Successful, Sexy Men meet their matches – and how!

The B&B Billionaire Books – Second Chance at Love stories set in small town America

Standalone Storiesfrom Sweet Time Travel to Sexy May-September Romance

(available only when you sign up to be an Insider)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Paranormal Romance – Tiger’s Last Chance – Now Available for Pre Order

 

Pre Order now available for steamy, suspenseful, paranormal romance, Tiger’s Last Chance (Stranger Creatures book 3). Book releases June 1, 2020!

While working a case, Sean Whitman is tortured for information, drugged, and bitten against his will by a shape shifter. The fallout leaves him jobless, friendless, and dumped by his girlfriend. Needing a fresh start, he leaves town and opens a private investigation business. Learning to live life sober isn’t easy, but he makes it to the two year mark.

When Detective Nikki Jackson with the Great Oaks, Virginia Police Department calls him, accusing him of breaking into his ex-girlfriend’s house, Sean can’t help but like the sound of her voice, despite her ridiculous accusations. He’s shocked when she calls him back with an apology then asks for his help as a consultant on a case. On the phone, her sweet, slightly Southern voice captivates him. In person, she’s unlike any other woman he’s encountered, and nearly impossible to resist. But could the sexy detective ever want a man like him?

After Nikki’s last dating disaster, the mountain lion shifter has sworn off men. Then she meets Sean, and with every second she spends around the tall, dark-eyed man, her resolve crumbles. But for some reason, despite the undeniable attraction between them, Sean seems determined to push her away.

An investigation into missing refugees leaves Nikki with more questions than answers. Her refusal to let the matter drop leads her to the discovery of a radical political group’s horrifying plot for dominance. Traitors are embedded within the very organizations meant to keep shifters safe. As the list of people she can trust dwindles, Nikki calls on Sean to help her unravel a web of deceit.

As Nikki and Sean fight for survival, his fear of losing her could become a reality. Will he get one last chance to show her he loves her?

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Excerpt:

For the briefest moment, Nikki felt the depth to which Sean might be capable of pushing her. His kiss was crushing and brutal. His tongue pushed past her lips and his grip in her hair tightened. If desire were a vine, it would have wrapped itself around her veins and encased her heart. The heat between them flooded her. There was a sweetness, too, in his kiss, and the sweetness made her burn hotter.

A polite cough from inside the waiting car put a quick end to things. Sean pulled away and met her gaze. No words, but she got the message. She wasn’t alone. Comfort and friendship; he’d probably meant the kiss to comfort her and had gotten carried away in the heat of the moment. He’d carried her away with him, and she wanted to take him so much further into the unknown.

With each second, each step towards the waiting car, she tried to find reasons and more reasons to ignore her growing attraction to Sean. The number one reason to forget about the kiss they’d shared—relationships were trouble. She had plenty of other amazing things in her life, including her career, her volunteer work, and her band, even though the band rarely played anywhere because the members had trouble aligning their schedules. She didn’t need a man. Besides, he was probably still messed up over Sydney. Also, he was a regular. Or mostly regular. Not to mention he lived over a thousand miles away in Texas. She should tell him the kiss was a mistake. One look at him and she couldn’t bring herself to say the words. The kiss they shared had been anything but a mistake.

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/b088p6mydb

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tigers-last-chance-christina-lynn-lambert/1137033221

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/tigers-last-chance/id1513644203

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tiger-s-last-chance

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1022227

Want to see what I’m up to? You can find me at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christinalynnlambert

WordPress: https://christinalynnlambertwordpress.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/chris4lamb

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15900423.Christina_Lynn_Lambert

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lynn-Lambert/e/B01MCYK0K7

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christinalynnlambert

April Book Fair

I hope you are all safe and well!

If you’re looking to add some amazing romance novels to your e-book library, check out the Book Rebel and OTOH online April Book Fair.

Discover new authors and enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card during the Book Rebel and OTOH April 2020 Book Fair!

It’s fun and easy. Just click on the link below to view the book fair.

Book Rebel and OTOH’s online April 2020 Book Fair

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Why I Dream in Color

Why I Dream in Color

Rain plays the drums on

the window pane while the wind

screams into my dreams

by Christina Lynn Lambert

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When life turns dark or stressful, when hope is dimming or circumstances keep you standing still and mired in misery, instead of leaning in to sad, gray, monotonous dreams, let your dreams breathe life into forgotten wells of strength. Let your dreams give you something good to hold close while enduring the bad times. Life is full of challenges and riddled with setbacks and pain, but I hope, for everyone, the joys outweigh the sorrows, and that your dreams are a bridge to the amazing unknown.

Bear’s Edge

Shapeshifters, psy, steamy romance, sarcasm, and suspense- Bear’s Edge has it all!

graphic teaser of Bear's Edge for website use

A boss can’t date her employee—simple as that. No matter how much Shayla wants to unravel a few of Grant’s mysteries and take her friendship with the shy, sarcastic man to the next level, she’s determined to keep her fantasies of him to herself.

After bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he did his best to shut himself off from everyone around him. Falling for Shayla wasn’t part of his plan, but after a kiss that leaves them both speechless and hungry for more, Grant can’t keep his desire for his boss under wraps any longer.

When things between the two of them get hotter than he could have imagined, Grant wonders if some of his darker desires will be too much for Shayla or will she embrace the needs he’s kept hidden for so long?

An obnoxious reporter and Shayla’s bitter ex have teamed up to chase down conspiracy theories that could destroy Shayla’s business and worse, put her life in danger. To find their happily ever after, Shayla and Grant will have to trust in each other and find a way to crush all the obstacles standing in their way.

Keep reading for a little taste of Bear’s Edge

What is it about Grant? Looking at the man beside her was no hardship; that was for damn sure. He had the tall, broad body of a heavyweight UFC fighter, but he never used his size to intimidate the people around him. Shayla wanted to sweep his wavy, slightly shaggy dark hair out of his gorgeous brown eyes. His dark hair and eyes complemented his bronze skin. He was hot, in a serious, dangerous kind of way. But in the two and a half years he had worked for her, she had hardly learned anything about him.

The waitress at the popular nature-themed restaurant, the Greenhouse Effect, showed them to their table. The plants growing around all the walls and columns made the place look like a wild garden. The smell of lavender and jasmine mixed with the delicious scents drifting from the kitchen. She tried not to drool, but breakfast seemed like eons ago. Shayla sat next to Sydney and across from Grant. A too-tall centerpiece of yellow-and-purple flowers blocked most of her view. Being short occasionally sucked. Grant moved the centerpiece to the side and gave her a shy smile. His smile made her want answers, among other things.

She knew he was from New Jersey and had gone to school in Wisconsin before moving to Richmond, Virginia, to work with Brook’s Comprehensive, a huge company that did everything from urban development projects to financial management for celebrities and politicians.

“Why do you want to make such a big change from a large corporation to a simple start-up company?” she’d asked him in the interview.

“Honestly?” He had paused then, the question hanging.

“Yes,” she’d assured him. She’d take honesty over smooth-faced, calculated interview answers any day.

“I want to live somewhere I can have a house and some land. Maybe spend more time outside. Also, I want a job where I can do more than just run numbers for projects where I never see the outcome.”

The last part had seemed to come as a surprise to him. Maybe he hadn’t really known he wanted something more than a change of scenery until he had said it out loud.

His answer had been simple and honest instead of a long, drawn-out elaboration about the projected success of new companies in the area or an extensive list of projects he had helped to fruition. She could look at his résumé for those kinds of details. He had wanted to be there, so she’d hired him. Simple as that—after a clean background check and drug screening, of course.

Grant the mystery man—a delicious mystery Shayla would like to unravel, piece by piece, layer by layer. Ah, but I can’t. I’m his boss. In a different lifetime, if we didn’t have the whole boss-employee obstacle going on…. No harm in looking, though, just a little, since he sat so close. She promised herself to keep her thoughts G-rated—okay, maybe PG-13. Grant had a talent with numbers and paid attention to detail. Also, he was a little shy and standoffish to a lot of people when it came to anything other than work. Shayla wondered where he sometimes went in his head, because, every now and then, his smile slipped from his face, just for a second, before being replaced with one a little harder. None of my business, she reminded herself.

She had really wanted to hug him this morning after seeing him so frustrated but decided it might be wiser and more appropriate to show him there were a few people on his side. Seeing him break things and try to be all strong and humorous about it made Shayla want to unravel the Grant mystery even more. It kind of hurt to watch him pretending to be fine, but all she could offer him was lunch and good conversation. Hopefully, Mr. Strong and Silent—Sydney called him that sometimes, although never to his face—knew Shayla and Sydney cared. And Shayla did care. Because he’s a friend. Just a friend.

Grant raised his soda in a toast. “To things not being worse,” he announced with a rueful half smile. “And, uh”—he cleared his throat—“to good company.” He nodded at Sydney, and when he met Shayla’s gaze, he held it. In his dark eyes, she saw hunger, wide-open desire, and about a million other things she couldn’t puzzle out. Grant looked at her that way sometimes, and she did her best to ignore it. He might have a small crush on her, or he could have a thing for petite, small-breasted girls possessing a great fashion sense.

Sydney broke the silence. “To good food and even better friends.” She clinked Grant’s glass, and Shayla came back to reality and smiled, pretending she wasn’t experiencing several different kinds of inappropriate thoughts and feelings for a sexy, complicated man who was her employee and also her friend. She needed to behave and remember things could never go any further than a panty-melting gaze.

Purchase Links for Bear’s Edge

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/bears-edge-stranger-creatures-book-ebook/dp/b07kb78g9k

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bears-Edge-Stranger-Creatures-Book-ebook/dp/B07KB78G9K

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bears-edge-christina-lynn-lambert/1127154505?ean=2940161778401

Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Christina_Lynn_Lambert_Bear_s_Edge?id=GcZ2DwAAQBAJ

iBooks:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bears-edge/id1441668063

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bear-s-edge-1

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/905705

COMING SOON: Tiger’s Last Chance, book 3 in my Stranger Creatures series. 

DON’T MISS  Derrick and Sydney’s story in Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures 1).

Nothing is what it seems in the town of Great Oaks, Virginia. Derrick has a few secrets but he’s not shy about letting elusive, single mom Sydney know he wants to leave the friend zone she’s boxed him into. Sydney has trust issues but she can’t seem to forget about sweet, sexy lawyer Derrick. Will Sydney and Derrick find their happily ever after or will the unhinged woman stalking them destroy their chance?

graphic teaser for WC for website use

Here’s a little taste of Wolf’s Challenge:

Sydney sat in the conference room at Brass Cat Advertising, sipping her coffee and wishing the caramel latte could take her to an alternate reality. One where Derrick Porter wasn’t sitting in front of her. His presence had caught her off guard. She took another sip of her coffee and tried not to stare stupidly, but holy chocolate-covered cherries, the man was hot.

Dark hair and eyebrows made a striking contrast against his strong bone structure and fair skin. His lips, good grief. They looked so soft. His long, lean body fit nicely in a suit. The material stretched over his broad shoulders and came in at the waist. He probably had amazing six-pack abs.

When they’d met Saturday in running group, it hadn’t merely been the fog coupled with Sydney’s exhaustion and two-year streak of celibacy that made Derrick appear so handsome. Even under the bright lights of the conference room, he was gorgeous. What rotten luck that she couldn’t seem to get away from him.

Purchase Links for Wolf’s Challenge

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Challenge-Christina-Lynn-Lambert-ebook/dp/B07JCSLVBJ

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wolfs-Challenge-Stranger-Creatures-Book-ebook/dp/B07JCSLVBJ

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolfs-challenge-christina-lambert/1124676509?ean=2940161888049

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wolf-s-challenge-1

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Christina_Lynn_Lambert_Wolf_s_Challenge?id=UOB1DwAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wolfs-challenge/id1441052967

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/900526

 

Don’t Fall in Line

People have all sorts of beautiful differences and always there seem to be people who, instead of celebrating those differences, want everyone to look, act, and think only one way. Anyone who doesn’t meet their standards of supposed perfection becomes a target. 

Another Day

Blend, hide, run, lie

live to see another day

Nobody stops the bottomless monsters

who feed on blood and tears

and thrive on misery

Their words leave scars

that threaten the spark of sunrise

And the choice has to be

the scars of oppression

or the scars of battle

by Christina Lynn Lambert

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Bullies, whether they are star students, amazing athletes, model citizens, career supertars, they are all weak and they are terrified beyond measure of their weakness. The most valuable skills they feel they possess are those that allow them to find ways to hurt others. Anybody could obtain power by taking advantage of others and terrifying people into subservience, but that doesn’t make it right.

Bullies are clever. Often they smile for observers but there’s an ugliness within these oppressors, driving them to find and exploit any difference they can within a person, to dig until they’ve left marks. Blood, tears, and sorrow are fuel for bullies. They feed their empty souls on the misery they cause others.

One who must derive pleasure at the expense of others deserves a fair amount of compassion and pity because who knows what awful circumstances caused a bully to need to live such a pathetic, soul-stealing existence. But compassion should never be mistaken for permission.

Schools often preach the empty “zero tolerance for bullies” policy then ignore tortured students, telling them things like, “I didn’t see it happen,” or “there’s no evidence. Little John or Jane is a nice kid, so they couldn’t have done such a thing.” Scars of the ignored deepen and  misery compounds. The people who should have helped turn away and busy themselves with another task, sweeping the problem under the rug.

Bullies don’t magically stop their horrible behavior after graduating high school. Instead, they get jobs, serve on boards, head up committees, become politicians. They work their way into positions of power and use their authority to rule like dictators and terrorize everyone who doesn’t fall in line.

It takes less time to listen than it does to pick up the shattered pieces of the human spirit. It takes strength to resist the loud persistent call to assimilate into a fearful mob.

We can hide under a fear mongering boss, or friend, or leader, or we can pull everyone who needs our help into shelter and safety, regardless or race, religion, lifestyle choice, or socio-economic status.

We can stand up or we can hide. I have seen bullies break people and I have seen broken people rise. Our differences don’t matter. Our humanity does. Infinitely so.

 

New Year- Straight Into the Unknown

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New year, brand new you or same sh*t different day? When the clock strikes midnight and a new year and a new decade begins, no fairy godmother will arrive to wipe away past mistakes. No glitter explosion of magic dissolves old baggage or crappy circumstances. Still, every new day has new possibilities. A journey into a new year takes us straight into the unknown.

Every now and then, in a moment of relative stillness, I remember that even though there are a lot of horrible people in the world and that humanity is hanging by a thread in constant threat of being severed, there are still some decent people out there, still some people I love, and still a few adventures to be had.

There will always be circumstances to overcome, battles ahead, wounds to heal, but for a moment, let’s celebrate-

To all the circumstances we’ve overcome

To all the bad decisions we’ve learned from and the good decisions we’ve benefitted from

And to a brand new year of new adventures, hope, and change.

I hope everyone’s 2020 is bright and full of love and possibilities!

Numbers Game

Unchecked greed rises

stealthily overpowering, stealing dignity, stealing opportunity

until no one can outrun

the ever changing line of inequality

by Christina Lynn Lambert

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Keeping people sick, just on the edge of debt, all while dangling the possibility of health and hope in front of the very people who can no longer reach those possibilities is beyond cruel. But in American healthcare, it’s just the way business is done. Patients are numbers in the American healthcare equation. Many nurses and doctors do care greatly about their patients but as far as pharmaceutical companies are concerned, their clients are nothing but dollar signs. To health insurance companies, we’re all numbers, inconvenient ants to be silenced with codes and denials. With each year, drug prices grow higher and insurance companies deny more and more services because CEOs want their bonuses, shareholders want their profits. Politicians placate these monsters in exchange for money and power.

Some patients can afford the exorbitant cost of healthcare in America. Some people can pay several hundred dollars a month for a prescription, year after year after year, but many can’t. But that’s the patient’s problem, right? Drug companies, hospitals, insurance companies must tell themselves something like that to justify the fact that people die without medicine and care, that people die because they’re afraid to go into debt for an emergency room trip because of chest pain. People tell themselves that lump they felt might be nothing at all because they can’t take the chance of a nasty hospital bill that eats away their financial stability. Waiting is the strategy of choice because anything else could result in financial ruin.

A billing clerk at the front desk of the dentist loudly proclaims to the patient, “You want your broken tooth fixed? Pay now or take your problem out the door.”

The ER cashier says to the patient, “you want stitches? We’ll send you the bill. You’ll get it in two weeks. Better be prepared to pay a couple grand or sew your finger back on yourself.”

And they all say “Pay us or we’ll take everything you have. Pay us or we’ll ruin your credit, maybe even send you to jail- but only if you’re too poor to defend yourself in court. Pay us or we’ll garnish your wages or repossess your car. Pay us or we’ll take your house and have the repossession company throw all your stuff into your front yard so you can come collect it with a garbage bag while your neighbors watch.” So patients everywhere in America must open up a vein and feed the health insurance industry because a nation of prosperity has somehow allowed an industry to become so greedy and so dysfunctional that the price of medicine and healthcare and health insurance can throw the average american into massive debt.

Life saving medical procedures, medicine to manage symptoms, possible cures, the possibility of a long healthy life- it’s all just out of reach for so many. People can buy health insurance, which isn’t cheap, but that doesn’t mean much when the cost of care is still so high.

Life is supposed to be sacred, so all important, but what about the quality of our lives? That questions gets pushed under the rug because the answer is inconvenient. Profit before people. Profit before decency. Profit before dignity. Now, people must choose between food and medicine, between mortgage payments and medical care, because CEOs need to deliver big money to shareholders. Top tier drug and health insurance employees need their bonuses. Making patients a number in the game of shareholder profit kills patients, but what do the drug companies and health insurance companies care? To them, the patients are just numbers. Not real. Not worthy. Expendable.

And I have to wonder, how long before the bar is raised and the cost is driven higher until unchecked greed become an insatiable beast, eating everything in its path until finally, the CEOs, politicians, and shareholders have nobody left to oppress and steal from but each other?